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Larnaca, Cyprus

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Larnaca, Cyprus



Location in Cyprus

Coordinates: 34°55′N 33°38′E / 34.917°N 33.633°E / 34.917; 33.633Coordinates: 34°55′N 33°38′E / 34.917°N 33.633°E / 34.917; 33.633

Country  Cyprus
District Larnaca District
 • Mayor Andreas Louroutziatis
Elevation 0 ft (0 m)
Population (2011)[1]
 • City 51,468
 • Urban 125,000
 • District 143,192
  The urban population includes that of the municipalities of Aradippou and Livadia.
Time zone EET (UTC+2)
 • Summer (DST) EEST (UTC+3)
Area code(s) +357 24

Larnaca (Greek: Λάρνακα; Turkish: Larnaka) is a city on the southern coast of Cyprus, the third largest after Nicosia and Limassol, and capital of the eponymous district.


"The great number of sarcophagoi (larnakes) found at Larnaca may have given to the modern city its name."[2] Sophocles Hadjisavvas (a government archaeologist in Cyprus) said in 2012 that the city's U.S. "consul of the last quarter of the 19th century, claimed to have explored more than 3,000 tombs in the area of Larnaca, so-called after the immense number of sarcophagi found in the modern town".[3]


Main article: History of Larnaca

The former kingdom-city of Kition (in present-day Larnaca) was originally established in the 13th century BC.[4] "New cultural elements appearing between 1200 BC and 1000 BC (personal objects, pottery, new architectural forms and ideas) are interpreted as indications of significant political changes and the arrival of the Achaeans, the first Greek colonists of Kition."[5]

At the archaeological sites of Kiteon, remains that date from the 13th century BC have been found. The area was settled before the Achaean Greeks arrived. Later Kition was rebuilt by Phoenicians. The remains of the sites include cyclopean walls and a complex of five temples and a naval port.

Like most Cypriot cities, Kition belonged to the Persian or Achaemenid Empire. In 450 BC, the Athenian general Cimon died at sea, while militarily supporting the revolt against Persia's rule over Cyprus. On his deathbed, he urged his officers to conceal his death from both their allies and the Persians.

Strong[6] earthquakes hit the city in 76 AD and the year after.

Earthquakes of 322 AD and 342 "caused the destruction not only of Kition but also of Salamis and Pafos".[6] Kition's harbor silted up, and the population moved to the seafront farther south, sometime after this. (Contributing factors to the silting are thought to have been earthquakes, deforestation and overgrazing.)

The commercial port was located at Skala, during the Ottoman Period. (Skala is the name of the seashore immediately south of the Larnaca castle[7]—and its neighborhood. The city is sometimes colloquially referred to as "Skala" (Greek: Σκάλα) meaning "ladder" or "landing stage", referring to the historical port.)

The Kamares aqueduct was built in 1747—bringing water to the city from a source around six miles (9.7 km) from the city.


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Larnaca seafront panorama

The Salt Lake fills with water during the winter season and is visited by flocks of flamingoes who stay here from November until the end of March. It usually dries up in the summer. In the past, it yielded good quality of salt which was scraped from the dried surface. The salt from the lake is now considered unsuitable for consumption.


The climate in this area is described by the Köppen Climate Classification System as "dry-summer subtropical" often referred to as "Mediterranean" and abbreviated as Csa.

Climate data for Larnaca
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 16.8
Daily mean °C (°F) 12.1
Average low °C (°F) 7.5
Precipitation mm (inches) 77.6
Avg. precipitation days (≥ 1 mm) 7.9 5.7 4.5 3.1 0.7 0.3 0.1 0.1 0.5 2.1 4.7 8.0 37.6
Mean monthly sunshine hours 195.3 208.8 238.7 267.0 331.7 378.0 387.5 365.8 312.0 275.9 216.0 179.8 3,356.5
Source: Meteorological Service (Cyprus)[8]


The city's landmarks include: the Church of Saint Lazarus; the Catacomb of Phaneromeni Church; Hala Sultan Tekke; the Kamares Aqueduct; and the Fort of Larnaca.

So-called "Foinikoudes" is the promenade along Athenon Avenue on the seafront. A row of palm trees (Cypriot Greek: φοινικούδες foinikoudes) lines either side of it.


A bust of "Kimon the Athenian" stands on the Foinikoudes Promenade, with this quote referring to him on the pedestal: "Even in death he was victorious" (Greek: "Kαι νεκρός ενίκα").

The marble bust of Zeno stands at the crossroads near the American Academy. Zeno was born in Kition in 334 BC. After studying philosophy in Athens, he founded the famous Stoic school of philosophy.

The Armenian Genocide Memorial stands on Athinon Avenue.


Larnaca's economy has been growing since 1975, after the loss of the Port of Famagusta, which handled 80% of general cargo, and the closure of Nicosia International Airport, meant that Larnaca's airport and seaport had increasingly important roles in the economy of the island.

A €650m upgrade of Larnaca Airport has been completed.

Many travel and tour operators and other travel-related companies have their head offices in Larnaca.

The service sector, including tourism, employs three quarters of Larnaca's labor force.


There are over a hundred educational institutions in the city, including the American Academy, Larnaca Nareg Armenian school and the Alexander College.



Larnaca has a theatre and an art gallery, which are operated by the municipality. The Cornaro Institute is a cultural centre in Old Town and which stages contemporary art exhibitions and other cultural events.


Local institutions include the Municipal Wind Orchestra.


Local teams include (football:) AEK Larnaca FC and ALKI Larnaca FC. Due to the Turkish occupation of Famagusta, the two teams of Famagusta, Anorthosis and Nea Salamina, are located here.

Local sports arenas include GSZ Stadium, "Antonis Papadopoulos", and "Ammochostos".

International competitions held in the city, include the Shooting Shotgun European Championships in 2012, the FIVB Beach Volleyball SWATCH Youth World Championship in 2012, the European Under-19 Football Championship final in 1998 and the European Under-17 Football Championship final in 1992.


Much of the activity is centered around the city promenade during the major festivals. The most important of these is Kataklysmos or the Festival of the Flood, celebrated in early summer with a series of cultural events. The festival used to last for about a week, but, in recent years, with the increased commercialism of peripheral stalls, rides and temporary loukmades restaurants, the festival been has extended to about three weeks, during which the seafront is closed to traffic in the evenings. Loukmades is a sweet delicacy.


Museums found in Larnaca include the Larnaca District Archaeological Museum, Pierides Museum and Kyriazis Medical Museum.


The beaches of Larnaca are lined with nearly identical seafood restaurants catering to tourists. Although there are many continental and international restaurants in Larnaca, visitors do not miss out on indulging in the local food. Many of the staple dishes involve beans, such as fasolaki (French beans cooked in red wine with lamb), and louvi me lahana (black-eyed beans with chard). The mezes, or appetizers, are particularly delicious and are plentiful enough to constitute meals. Some of the standard appetizers are potato salad, kohlrabi salad, and hot grilled black olives. The next course may include Cyprus village sausage and sheftalia, dolmades and keftedes, kolokassi in tomato sauce, and several aubergine-based dishes. Baked or grilled lamb (souvla) usually appears somewhere in the course of dining, as does some kind of fish. The slow pace of eating and the series of food courses makes dining in Larnaca a true delight.


Its neighborhoods include Skala, Prodromos, Faneromeni, Drosia, Kamares, Vergina and Agioi Anargyroi. Also, Kiti, Pervolia dromolaxia and meneou.

Oroklini Hill towards Larnaca


The city's transport hubs are Larnaca International Airport and Larnaca Port—the Republic's busiest airport and second busiest port, respectively.

Mahan air line, in I.R.IRAN, has route flight from Tehran ( capital of Iran ) to Larnaca . One of Cyprus' four official entry points by sea is located at Larnaca Marina.

Public transport

Public transport in Larnaca is served only by buses. Bus routes and timetables can be found [here].

International relations

Twin towns — Sister cities

Larnaca Municipality is twinned with the following:

Notable residents


See also


External links

  • History of Larnaka by the official Municipality
  • Municipality of Larnaca Official Web Site
  • Larnaka Municipal Wind Orchestra Official Web Site
  • Larnaca Travel Web Site

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